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The Future of History Rewritten

Discussion in '[MAC+WIN] Civ4 - History Rewritten' started by Xyth, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    TL;DR: Civ 6 is looking promising, but I'm not done with History Rewritten yet.



    As I imagine is the case for many modders, the announcement of Civ 6 has got me pondering the future of my mod and of Civ 4 as a modding platform and community.

    I really disliked Civ 5. They stripped out too many systems in order to force the series into into something it was never intended to be. Despite adding dedicated tools they actually made modding much more inaccessible, especially to Mac users. GAK and BNW were massive improvements, steering the game back on path, but the fundamental flaws remained unsolved. History Rewritten was in its infancy at the time, the Civ4 community was vibrant, so sticking with Civ4 was an easy choice that I've never regretted.

    Civ 6, however, is looking a lot more promising. It's made by the same team that made GAK and BNW, and this time they'll be able build the foundation, rather than trying to cover its inadequacies. It'll still have 1UPT (improved implementation, but still not a fan), but everything else announced sounds quite interesting. Three things in particular have caught my attention:

    • It will be 64bit
    • It will have multi-threaded AI
    • They're building their own graphics engine instead of using a proprietary one (Gamebryo, etc)

    These are hugely significant. They mean bigger maps, faster turn times, and (hopefully) more accessible graphics modding. They mean actually taking advantage of the power of modern computers. Lack of this is why Civ4 is still so slow and crash prone despite computers having improved considerably in the years since release. All in all it sounds like Civ 6, regardless if it turns out to be a great game in itself, is likely to be a much more stable and modern platform for modding.

    So will I be jumping ship to Civ 6? Maybe. The biggest unknown factor is how the Mac version turns out. I expect, as with both Civ4 and Civ5, that Mac version will not support DLL modding. I'm okay with this so long as similar amounts of changes can be made via XML and Python/LUA (or whatever scripting language Civ 6 ends up using), as can be made in Civ4. As mentioned, graphics modding sounds like it will much more accessible than it has been (it was extremely limited in Civ 5).

    Something else on my mind is that the Civ4 modding community is winding down. Many mod creators are soldiering on and making some great changes, but most of the graphics modders are gone now. Very few leaderheads, buildings, units are being produced nowadays. We mod makers are reliant on graphic modders, without them we can't add the civs and other such content that we'd like. I can do (and have done) a fair bit amount of graphic modding myself, but it makes updates take much longer and, more significantly, it makes modding feel like a solo endeavour. Part of the joy of modding is seeing what others release and being inspired to incorporate it into your own work.

    The Civ4 modding community isn't going to die (the Civ3 modding community is small but still going strong), but the release of Civ 6 will certainly diminish it further. And this time around, History Rewritten is a mature mod with the majority of things I hoped to do accomplished.

    So does this mean the end of History Rewritten?

    No, not yet. I'm now kinda regretting making the Corporations changes as ambitious as I have, but I'm committed to getting them finished (in some form at least), and the rest of 1.24 as well. Here's a brief (likely incomplete) summary of what's coming for those unaware:

    • K-Mod integration for Windows users
    • Corporations will spread independently
    • Players and Corporations can buy and sell shares in Corporations
    • Syndicates (organised crime)
    • Dissent will be reduced by Espionage and increased by starvation
    • World Wonders capped by culture level
    • 2 new Aztec leaders and 1 new English leader (Aelfred)
    • 4 new resources: Bitumen, Hemp, Opium, Saltpeter
    • A ton of bug fixes, UI improvements, and balance tweaks

    Also, there will definitely be a 1.25. It will be dedicated to going through the mod with a fine tooth comb, fixing and finishing anything that still needs it. I have a bunch of building art I haven't used yet, so I'll definitely be reviewing that too. Beyond that, I don't know. Looking at my wishlist, the major things on it that I'd feel unhappy about not doing are improving/extending the Climate Change mechanics, and filling up the remaining civ/leader slots. I know that that latter in particular is important to many here (and to me), so I'll do my best. It's getting pretty hard to source and create the needed art though.

    Anyway, just wanted to let you all know what I'm thinking. Early days yet, things may change as more info becomes available. No timeframe or deadline, but if I do jump to Civ 6, I promise to leave History Rewritten in the best condition possible and to still provide support, even if I'm no longer actively developing it.
     
  2. ales_

    ales_ Heir

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    I'd say that it's too early to take a decision because there are still a lot of things we don't know yet. If I'm not mistaken, initially, you were willing to make the jump to CiV. We know what happened after its release.
     
  3. cobbaut

    cobbaut Chieftain

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    Thank you for this mod, and for supporting Mac OSX!
     
  4. Little Faith

    Little Faith Warlord

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    I say that you should not make any rash decisions before you have the actual game in your hands and know what you can/can't do with it from personal experience.

    Getting too hyped for unreleased games is always a road to disappointment.
     
  5. BBQ man

    BBQ man Chieftain

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    Civ 6 sounds like an exciting new frontier, and I expect that whatever Xyth does to it will make it even better. Never troubled with Civ 5 because I liked HR so much better.

    I will certainly give the "final" iterations of HR a lot of play, but I have been increasingly frustrated by the tendency of games to crash, especially in later eras, after the expenditure of a dozen hours building a culture.

    I have never owned a non-Mac computer in my life, and don't intend to anytime soon, so I will probably follow Xyth wherever he goes.
     
  6. dretnoth

    dretnoth Warlord

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    Well, its still possible future. And maybe,.. maybe,.. HR can become more popular that C6. Or there will be some acknowledgeable and HR for C6 can get official support.
    Like it was said: "We live in era, of infinity possibilities." But HR will always have its special place in ours hearts."
    As long are you in. We will waiting for the next chapter of History Rewritten.
    The dreams are real.
     
  7. Absolution

    Absolution Prince

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    My expectations for civ 6 are not that high as yours all.

    It might be a general improvement from 5, but the general "lightness", and yet strategic deepness, of civ 4, wouldn't be repeated, I think.

    It's the simple (and nice) way leaderheads are built, the unit stacks, the multipile leaders per civilization, and the general feeling that game gives you, that you can do whatever you want.


    However, I don't expect the civ4 modding community to remain active after the release of civ 6.
    It does no mean that civ 4 is dead. neither are it's mod.
    But after 9 years of existence, much of the needed modding has been done, and I have a variety of great mods to play (HR, revolution, RFC).
    If you still wish to mod, than again, you have plenty of leaderheads and artstyles created in recent years, which can be found around the internet and be sometimes more than enough.
    I will continue to play 4, and continue to use it's mod including this one, and continue to read or share Stories and Tales. Just because it is the great game ever created.
     
  8. keldath

    keldath LivE LonG AnD PrOsPeR

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    well spoken friend.

    i enjoyed reading it, i share your thoughts 100%.

    finish your mod at 1.24.5, get it finalized and rest, play a bit and wait for c6.

    gluck.
     
  9. Leoreth

    Leoreth 心の怪盗団 Moderator

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    Now that everyone is expressing their resignation I have to voice my position too. Not impressed by what I'm seeing from Civ6 in the slightest, so count me in the "soldiering on" party.
     
  10. AbsintheRed

    AbsintheRed Deity

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    I'm with Leoreth.
    RFCE will also see quite a few official releases.
     
  11. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Not hyped, but I am cautiously hopeful. I won't be making any decisions until well after Civ6 is out. The Mac version and the modding API/tools tend to not be released until several months later, for a start. In that time, I'll be reading impressions (from veterans, not clueless gaming sites) and watching how early modding attempts unfold.

    As am I. That's what tempts me about Civ6, far more than any game mechanics they may introduce. There's always more I can and need to do to improve stability, but ultimately there are things that I can never solve. It would be really nice to be modding without having to worry about MAFs, or an AI that can't take advantage of faster CPUs, or those stupid Mac-specific bugs that Aspyr can't be bothered fixing.

    Speaking of that; Civ4 stopped working in both Yosemite and El Capitan. I was able to fix it both times (months before Aspyr bothered, and then only for Steam), but there'll be a new OS X (MacOS?) announced next week – will I be able to fix it this time? Hope so, because we can't rely on Aspyr or Firaxis to.

    I went from Amiga to Mac. Can't stand Windows. Would probably like Linux but I've never really tried it, and am now well and firmly tied to the Apple ecosystem anyway. I've been saving up to buy a new MacBookPro this year (really hoping they're announced next week) and I can't help but feel a bit frustrated that despite it being a massive upgrade (my current MBP is from 2010), it won't make Civ4 all that much faster or reduce memory issues.

    Civ5 traded strategic depth in an attempt to gain tactical depth – and failed, badly. Sounds like they're trying to improve both in Civ6. I think they will, but we'll have to wait and see if it'll be sufficient.

    Multiple leaders (and the ability to create decent new ones) is easily one of the biggest reasons I'd stick with Civ4. I hate 1UPT, but I don't especially love stacks of doom either. I'd prefer something in between. Too early to tell how Civ6's implementation will pan out, but I don't expect it to be great. Better than in Civ5, but that's not exactly hard. Biggest questions are how moddable it will be, and how big maps will be. Many problems with limited-UPT go away if maps are suitably huge. A 64bit engine might be promising in this regard.

    Yeah, 1UPT and the district system are pretty disastrous when it comes to real world maps. I can understand why you guys aren't interested. I've always preferred random maps, but it's still a significant compromise in immersion and scale.
     
  12. Nightstar

    Nightstar Prince

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    Some of the concepts I've seen sound interesting (we'll see just how well implemented they actually end up being), but it's hard for me to get hyped up about it when the odds are so high that it will be yet another Steam-exclusive release that I'm permanently locked out of.
     
  13. ales_

    ales_ Heir

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    Why are you locked out?
     
  14. Little Faith

    Little Faith Warlord

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    There are quite fraction of the Civfanatics userbase who have an ingrained aversion/hatred to Steam.
     
  15. Nightstar

    Nightstar Prince

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    Exactly so. I looked into Steam a while back (precisely *because* of the restriction on Civ5), and while it was long enough ago that the exact details have become blurry in my memory, I think they asked for too much personal information and didn't secure it well enough (as I recall, they'd been hacked at least twice already).

    Plus I really dislike the idea of not having physical custody of my own data and purchased software. The thought that someone else could just arbitrarily delete things or even lock me out of my account entirely makes my skin crawl. (And yes, things like that have happened to other people. It's the same reason I doubt I'll ever own a Kindle or the like.)

    This is starting to stray a bit too far from the initial topic of the thread, so I'll stop there.
     
  16. Kapor

    Kapor Chieftain

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    Hey! Just coming here to say that I appreciate your work! This is one of my favorite mods here. I'm glad to hear that the development is going on! All new features seem exciting, and I hope that multiplayer will work as well.
     
  17. Arbequina

    Arbequina Chieftain

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    I've had hundreds of hours of fun with the History Rewritten mod. Such an inexpressible improvement on BTS! So thank you very much. Really. Tank you!

    All you exposed sounded very reasonable to me. I myself disliked Civ5 very much too (though it had some nice ideas which you implemented in your mod). Civ6, from what I've been reading, might be a decent Civilisation indeed and if not a good enough vanilla Civ, maybe a gret plataform from where modders will be able to do a brilliant job. Anyways I'll be alert, waiting for your Civ6 mod. :)
     
  18. Milliopolis

    Milliopolis Chieftain

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    Hello, Xyth. Today I want to tell you about a modding project to next 10 years.
    http://civ4multi.info/運営チーム不定期レポート(2015年10月版)/
    Japanese and a big MOD community plan to modernize civ4 in 64bit, multi-core CPU available and high resolution(maximum 4K).
    I dont know it is possible to adapt this project to the HR but too early to forsake an old game engine of civ4!
     
  19. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    That sounds very interesting, hope they can make it happen.
     
  20. Xyth

    Xyth History Rewritten

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    Installed the Sierra Public Beta today and got BTS running fine, just needed the same fix as Yosemite and El Capitan. So that's a relief.
     

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